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A Message From Katie Brisson, Vice President, Program

March 28th, 2020 Back to Browse Stories

Like you, our hearts and minds are focused now on all our loved ones across the community.

Katie Brisson,
Vice President, Program

I want to share some of the urgent responses from the Community Foundation this week, in partnership with our many donors, foundation peers, and others. In the midst of this crisis, we have been humbled and amazed by the generosity of so many people, and we are grateful to work alongside so many dedicated people to move efforts out quickly.

Some highlights include:

On Tuesday, we issued a slate of 14 immediate grants, totaling $700,000 to address health needs in our community.  These grants included support for immediate COVID testing efforts in the region, particularly for first responders and medical personnel on the frontlines of the crisis. The grants also support several area community-based health clinics, health departments, and  senior-serving organizations as they work to fulfill  roles  in serving the people of this community.

We also made a slate of grants to five United Ways in our region for the strong work they are doing to address urgent, human services needs. Those include United Way of Southeast Michigan, as well as the United Ways, which serve Livingston, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Monroe counties.

Throughout the week, we’ve been working to support our Census grantees to pivot their plans for door-to-door outreach to more targeted online and telephone efforts.  Please help spread the word that, despite today’s crises, the Census is still happening and is now live.

In light of the COVID-19 crisis, the U.S. Census Bureau has extended the window for the census from July 31 to August 14. Every person who completes the census equates to roughly $1,800 per person per year in our region in federal funding. Those funds can be used to support fire departments, public highways, families in need, and other essentials. Please complete your Census now at this website and encourage others to do the same.

Today, our Project Play team is distributing a list of resources for parents who are working to keep their kids active at home. Check it out at here and share with your friends and neighbors.

We are also gathering and sharing some helpful tools from our grantee partners.  In particular, I want to lift up this list of resources around Managing Mental Health and COVID-19 from our grantee, the JED Foundation.

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold, we know more needs are emerging. As such, we are asking area nonprofits to let us know what they are hearing through this three-question online survey.  Here is a summary of the needs we have received so far.

We have launched a fund to support some of these emerging needs in partnership with the DMC Foundation, the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation and others. Like the health grants made this week, we will continue to identify targeted needs and move money quickly where it can be aligned and make an impact.

Please know that our team is fully operational and is standing by ready to answer your questions.

Katie Brisson

Vice President, Program